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US market falls hit games stocks

THQ loses 6% of its value as EA and the North American specialist retailers also suffer

As fears over the instability of the single European currency continue, the major US markets fell yesterday, prompting solid losses for most videogame-related stocks.

Of the key publishers THQ was hardest hit, with its share price tumbling over 6 per cent to $5.78, while Microsoft was down 4 per cent $27.11 and Take-Two down nearly 3 per cent $10.69.

Specialist retailers were also hit, as GameStop was down 3 per cent to $20.62, and Best Buy falling an initial 3 per cent during the day, plus another 1.3 per cent in after hours to sit at an estimated $40.22.

Of all the main stocks, while Electronic Arts dropped 4.4 per cent to $16.37 throughout the day, it rebounded strongly in after hours trading, which has so far put the publisher on a stronger footing than when it opened, up almost 5 per cent to $17.17.

The losses were all set against a macroeconomic backdrop that saw the Dow Jones lose 376 points in a day, while NASDAQ was also down around 4 per cent - as well as the debt crisis in Greece, other contributing factors included fears over US unemployment.

Meanwhile, the European markets have so far followed suit, with markets in the UK, France and Germany all down almost 1 per cent at the time of writing.

Ubisoft's share price is so far down 2.3 per cent on today's trading, to sit at €7.55, although entertainment retailer HMV has bucked the red trend to sit 2.4 per cent up at 59.9 pence.

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Phil Elliott

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